The Road Authority (RA) yesterday said it has taken notice of the prevalent renting of road public carrier permits, which it says is illegal and that those doing so risk getting prosecuted.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, Roads Authority Spokesperson Hileni Fillemon called on vehicle owners interested in owning public road carrier permits to follow due process, by applying. Fillemon reiterated that members of the public should refrain from renting out permits, adding that any person may apply, in accordance with the Road Transportation Act 74, 1977, Section 12.
“A person may qualify by providing a detailed motivation on why an additional permit is needed. An application should be accompanied by a valid motor vehicle registration certificate and a certified copy of the applicant’s identity document as well as the necessary application fee. In addition, a person should complete an application form, indicate the type of vehicle and seating capacity, and indicate the Taxi Rank number for Municipal areas or a Detailed Route description for long-distance transportation,” Fillemon explained.
She added that the process takes approximately five months to complete. However, a taxi driver who spoke to the Windhoek Observer on condition of anonymity said that he has been waiting for over three years to get a permit, but to no avail.
“The process is strenuous. I applied many years ago and I am still waiting. I was therefore left with no choice but to rent a permit from someone else. The system is crooked and there are loopholes. You will find permit holders as young as 17 or 18 years old. These are people even without vehicles. The elite and their children are benefiting. Some people even own three or two permits. The government should seriously look into the issue of permits. If you go to the north right now, especially Ohangwena where I come from, you will find unregistered vehicles transporting people. Private vehicles are transporting people and this is because people have no choice but to put bread on their tables. They cannot afford to wait any longer. Permit applications take years to get approved,” he said.
In response, Fillemon clarified that the Road Transportation Board does not approve applications if there is no proof of ownership and a valid motor vehicle license certificate of the applicant.
“It is the requirement that an applicant for a road carrier permit should have a motor vehicle registered in his or her name,” she added.
Fillemon added that the application fee is N$ 200, while an additional N$250.00 (per vehicle) is required for the issuing of the permit with all the requirements met and the Road Transportation Board approves the application.
She indicated that the RA has commenced the process of converting all indefinite passenger transport permits to two-year permits.
“All permit holders will be required to visit the RA permits office to convert their permits,” she added.
Fillemon reiterated that permit owners without a valid motor vehicle registration certificate will not be issued with the new two-year permits.
“Consequently, their permits will expire on a date to be determined by the Minister of Works and Transport,” she said.
Therefore, applications without the aforementioned are not considered for a public road carrier permit.
The Spokesperson also indicated that The Road Transportation Act 74, 1977 is old legislation, it is being revised by the Ministry of Works and Transport to address challenges being experienced in the industry.